My company, a major metropolitan newspaper, used to host an annual Christmas party for employees. But, this year, the paper broke with tradition, hosting instead a “holiday party,” so as not to offend the sensibilities of those that do not believe Christ the Son of the God.
Well, I respect the Constitutionally-protected right of every American to practice a religion other than Christianity, the faith of this nation’s founders. Or to practice no religion whatsoever (which I suspect of many, if not most of my journalistic peers).
What I find objectionable, though, is the insistence of non-Christians that the holiday become some sort of ecumenical celebration, if not a strictly secular holiday.
But to the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, et al., who may be reading these words, let this Christ follower state the obvious:
Jesus is the reason for the season. He’s the Christ in Christmas.
December 25 is not set aside for observance of Hanukkah or Kwanza. It’s not a celebration of the birth of Mohammed, Buddha or Brahma.
The date has been observed since at least 345 AD as a “holy day” by the Christian faithful, with a liturgical feast marking the virgin birth of Christ the Lord.
Here in the United States, President Ulysess S. Grant in 1870 signed legislation that declared Christmas a national holiday. And every president since has officially observed the date on which the birth of Christ is celebrated.
Alas, things have changed mightily since then. The nation’s non-Christian minority has sought to take the Christ out of Christmas, in both the public and private sector.
Indeed, in 2009, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia upheld a school district’s ban on the singing of Christmas carols. And just last month, a federal district court in Los Angeles sided with atheists in banning a Nativity scene in a Santa Monica that had been a 60-year tradition.
Meanwhile, major retailers like Barnes & Noble, Footlocker, Gap Stores (including Banana Republic and Old Navy), Limited Brands (including Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret), L.L. Bean and Radio Shack have replaced “Merry Christmas” in their advertisements with the un-Christian “Happy Holidays.”
And private employers, like the newspaper for which I opine, are no longer hosting company Christmas parties. Instead, they’re holding politically-correct holiday parties.
Yet, as Christmas Day approaches, this Christ follower is not discouraged.
Because the scripture declares: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”